Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kublai Khan - Ayala Center Cebu

My late brother and I were huge fans of Kublai Khan.  But my sister has never tried it here.  So one day I sort of literally dragged her to Kublai Khan.  Kublai Khan is located on the 3rd Level of Ayala Terraces. Its ambiance is cool and hip, informal in other words. Their whole dining area is a bit small, so they have seating extensions at the terrace overlooking the gardens of Ayala Terraces.  If you are on a budget but really famished, you are in the perfect place.  The price is really "Budget-Friendly". There is "Eat-All-You-Can" (I think 200+ Php), and there is Check-A-Bowl (only 125 Php) for those who could not eat so much like us. What you do is mix in whatever you like with your rice - chicken meat, pork bits, seafoods, noodles, veggies... And you can choose whether you like it sweet or spicy sweet. Waiting time is tolerable unless the restaurant is full. Food is served piping hot. Very satisfactory if I may say. Good value for the money.

Place your order in that counter there

The place filling up...

The extension tables and chairs outside

Slowly filling up too... place is kid friendly too

View from where we were sitting... through glass walls

My sister waiting for our food...

An amusing thought? or just plain daydreaming...
Almost getting bored. When will our food arrive...

Finally!

It was not our last visit.  We went back there again. However, the only downside of Kublai Khan is that - while you may have a choice of what are to be mixed with your rice, there are no other dishes to choose from. But if you are okay with that, then it is not a problem.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Maya Mexican Restaurant

We went to Crossroads Banilad when its popularity as the IN Place for dining in Cebu has waned.  Why did I say that? Because the feeling is not as vibrant as Banilad Town Center or Ayala Terraces. Perhaps because their lighting is a bit dark? Maybe I am just wrong.

Maya Mexican Restaurant was one of our first forays in our foodie adventures. I have always been curious about Crossroads, and I had this longing for some Mexican foodie, and so off we went - my sister and I to Maya Mexican Restaurant in Crossroads.

The first 2 photos here below are borrowed photos.  In our excitement we were not able to get some photos of the facade and its beautifully carved door, but the rest of the photos are our own. 



We settled in the loft. See the photo above, the stairs on the right leads to the loft. The wall beside the stairs are decorated with different skull masks.  Perhaps referring to their famous El Dia de los Muertos? 

We were early (half past 7:00 PM) and there were not much people yet, although it was the weekend.  People started coming in past 8:00 PM. In my opinion, the place is not for family dinners with small kids or babies in tow. Although I saw some parents bringing along their teenage kids. It is soft lighted, meant for romantic dinner perhaps, or for entertaining guests or visitors.






As I have said, at that time I had a craving for some real if not almost real Mexican tacos. When I used to work in Makati, I fell in love with the tacos of Mexicali (I hope it is still there, I dream of going back there one of these days...). I was hoping the tacos here would be more or less the same. But theirs have a different twist. Their tacos have soft shells and they were small finger sized. But it tasted more Mexican than the other tacos I tasted in the supermarkets. Of course, much more expensive. Haha...




While I can say I enjoyed my tacos and chicken, I could not say much about my sister. I guess she was still familiarizing with the Mexican food.  I hope she was not disappointed because first experiences always have an impact.

Maya is a bit pricey, and I was not really very much impressed with our food. But why not? I would probably be back and try the other dishes...

Scenes From Our North Road Trip Last Summer 2014

Now that it has been raining almost everyday all week long, the gloomy days made me long for those long hot summer days. Below is a recollection of the North Road trip we took last March...


We went to Alegre Beach Resort.  That is the only resort in Sogod, Cebu. Although Bantayan Island in the northernmost tip of Cebu is famous for its beautiful beaches, we chose Alegre because Sogod is nearer.  It takes only about 2 hours from the city proper. Bantayan takes about 3 hours by bus and another hour by boat. We opted for Day Tour which cost 1500 Php per person, part of which is consumable in terms of food. There were not much people that day, so it feels like we own the beach and the pool. It was worth the trip and the cost... 


We were pushing north I think towards Compostela 

This is still a part of Liloan

Liloan Church

Ruins of a building in Danao

Catmon

Catmon still...

Alegre Beach Resort in Sogod

Another view of the beach from the restaurant

Fine white sands, light blue sea... and a solitary figure

I could gaze at the beauty endlessly...

There was a crab playing...

View of the pool and the beach from the Reception Area of Alegre

Going home this time...



Back to reality

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

1730 Jesuit House

Destination No. 3:  1730 Jesuit House

Because it was already running late in the afternoon, and it will be getting dark soon, we hurried to our last stop - the Jesuit House.  It could be overlooked because it lies unobtrusive within a warehouse.  There is an entrance fee of 50Php per adult.




Our first stop were the rooms of memorabilia.  It was dark inside and there was an old musty smell that pervaded the rooms,  giving credence to its antiquity. 


Diorama of the old Pari-an


Exhibits of old photographs depicting historical events

I think this is a miniature replica of an old Chinese trading ship

A miniature replica of an old Spanish galleon

Upstairs was where the previous owners lived. Actually there is nothing much to see anymore. It is basically bare. I was not quite impressed, except for the fact about its age. The house has an interesting history as it changed hands with different owners.  According to our guide, the present owner is mulling on some restoration projects, probably since the house has attracted a lot of visitors.  I hope this will be fulfilled.  It is sad to see a historical piece pass into oblivion...






Saturday, September 06, 2014

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House (Cebu City)

Destination No. 2:  Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House


Just a few steps across the Heritage of Cebu Monument is the ancestral home of the Yap-Sandiego's. When I was very young and used to pass this house, I remembered it really looked old and neglected, and rented to some family. But somebody must have told the Sandiego's that this old house has a historical value, and that prompted them to take it back and converted it to a museum. Entrance Fee: Adults 50Php (Philippine Pesos)

You can see it immediately because of the signs...



The house was given a stamp by the Tourism Commission as a  Tourist site...
The sofa of the olden days were made of sturdy wood with detailed carvings...

One of the original posts that support the second floor...

We couldn't help but tried on some of the visitors chairs from the past...

The china cabinets, the tables, the chairs - were really old... and I am glad they were not refurbished to look new.
Kitchens in the olden times were normally separated from the house because people used to cook using firewood...

The second floor has a formal dining room, which is spacious and airy because of the huge windows...


Some beautiful antique collections here below... 

The sala or the living room has huge windows...

This ancestral house must belong to an affluent family in the past, because ordinary folks lived in simple nipa huts, but this house is grand in comparison.

My sister could not help but want to sit in a rocking chair beside the window...

In the olden times, water source is from the well... theirs did not dry up even after all these years, although according to the caretakers, they used it now merely to water the gardens.

This is actually the dining room here below, that overlooks the garden...


I think, what makes the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House interesting is that it remains sturdy and livable after all these years inspite of the fact that nothing much has changed with its basic structure.  I like it also that it was not painted or polished to look new.  For me the aged look actually gave it character and a certain kind of charm, plus the fact that all the things inside the house are ancient looking and did not deviate from its theme.  This is in fact a good study for students of History and Architecture - a look into how we live in the past.